Imagine arriving to a foreign country and upon arrival, the worst symptoms are contracted. The most torturous part being, the ability to tell others what is wrong is out of reach. Animals go through this every day. Without specially trained animal doctors, these furry friends would suffer and would not stand a chance. Throughout the history of veterinary medicine the requirements remain hefty and have a standing impact on today’s society, it is shown that the study of veterinary medicine is important not only to the animals, but to every pet owner out there.
The history of veterinary schooling is the most influential part of the development of veterinary medicine. The first veterinary school was established in 1762 in Lyon, France (Swope 17). At first, veterinary practices were very limited, and few people were given the opportunity to take part in the studies that were required to be credible in this field. This was only because the actual study of veterinary medicine was new, and only the basics were known. Meaning, previous studies were not very in-depth. Today, it is also difficult to become one who studies veterinary medicine.
In 2007, only about one third of all applicants made it into veterinary schools (Significant Points). It does not only take a lot of time, dedication, and years in school. It takes a very smart person to become successful in this field, primarily because they are put through so many years of school. “Veterinary schools are very hard to get accepted into. The prerequisites for admission to veterinary programs vary. Most programs require a significant number of credit hours ranging from 45 to 90 semester hours. However, most of the students admitted have completed an undergraduate program and earned a bachelor’s degree.
West 2 Applicants without a degree face a difficult task in gaining admittance” (Significant Points). To fully understand the level of hard work and dedication that goes into preparing for a job in veterinary medicine, would be to actually try it. One must have copious amounts of knowledge and experience to even be considered for schooling! Yes, good grades are definitely a big factor for doing well in this time consuming line of work, but there should also be a little bit of experience with animals or the licensed veterinarians themselves.
The normal student who gets accepted into veterinary schools would be one with ambition and passion for the study. Students who would be selected first would be those with previous experience in the actual field such as agribusiness, volunteering at zoos, vet offices, or animal shelters (Significant Points). On top of grades and previous experience, getting into vet school requires being selected from the few schools that are available. There are only twenty-eight accredited schools of veterinary medicine in the United States, resulting in a limited number of graduates— about 2,500—each year (Significant Points).
The journey is not is not over yet! No one has ever said it is easy to excel in the veterinary world. Some more “equipment” needed before becoming a veterinarian would be licensure. “All States and the District of Columbia require that veterinarians be licensed before they can practice. All States require the successful completion of the D. V. M. degree—or equivalent education—and a passing grade on a national board examination, the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam” (Significant Points). Almost there! The road to becoming any type of medical doctor is not a short one.
After what could be up to ten years of school, one STILL must do more to begin their own practice. One must follow an already licensed veterinarian before they can go West 3 out on their own. After school, but before veterinary work begins, one must complete at least a 1-year internship (Significant Points). Unfortunately, after all the money spent on school, interns do not get paid. Soon after this intern step, is where all the money spent, time put forth, and energy given becomes all worth it. But first, an aspiring veterinarian must actually find a place to work!
Veterinarians held about 59,700 jobs in 2008. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, eighty percent of veterinarians were employed in a solo or group practice. Most others were salaried employees of colleges or universities; medical schools; private industry, such as research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies; and Federal, State, or local government (Significant Points). Finding a spot among other already experienced veterinarians is tough if one is starting from scratch. This is why most veterinarians begin as employees in established group practices.
Eventually when veterinarians gain enough experience with their group practice, they begin their own practice or purchase one that is already established (Significant Points). How much does one get paid each year one might ask? After all of the struggle to become a defined veterinarian, one gets a few things. For one, if caring for and treating the sick animal is a passion, than going to work every day would never be a dreaded hassle. Also, median annual wages of veterinarians were $79,050 in May 2008. The middle fifty percent earned between $61,370 and $104,110.
The lowest ten percent earned less than $46,610, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $143,660 (Significant Points). One could say this is well worth the hard work and wait. At school, all of the basics are learned, including information such as the anatomy, physiology, and habits of many different species. Beyond school, some West 4 individuals would begin to form their own ideas of what they thought was the “right form of care”. Many believed that the most natural and organic means of health would be best for animals, while others disagree. Mark Goldstein, author of “The Nature of Animal Healing”, believes that Holistic medicine is the way to go.
Holistic health care is basically just the more natural form of health care (Goldstein 1). As Goldstein would say, “Pets can’t answer questions that might produce clues. Often with a pet, all you have are signs. Perhaps your pet is lethargic. Or his coat is dull and matted, or his skin is scaly, or reddened, his nose running, or his breath foul-smelling. Maybe he’s stopped eating, or has intestinal gas. Perhaps he has diarrhea or a dis-colored stool; perhaps he’s started urinating more often or in the house for the first time.
These are the signs leading owners to conclude that their pet must ‘have something wrong’” (Goldstein 13). According to Holistic practices, one must always have their pet in a comfortable environment when they have fallen ill and need to be taken care of. For example, a steel examining table would not be used. Instead, in a holistic health care facility, animals would be treated in a carpeted environment that had soft soothing music (Goldstein 105). Regular veterinary offices smell of other distressed animals and it makes the experience all to stressful for new guests.
When one who is deeply involved in holistics hears of an animal that is ill, his or her initial reaction would be to administer high doses of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is known as the “immune booster” (Goldstein 14). Notice this is only a mere vitamin. Things as strong as vaccines are shunned in the holistic healthcare society. It is believed that vaccines are a common killer among animals. In some cases, the vaccines reject and cause symptoms such as inappetence, fever, unkempt coat, dehydration, rapid weight loss, and vomiting West 5 (Goldstein 84). The simplest things have the most impact on animal’s health.
Most importantly, the food they eat. The type of food given to animals is a huge factor in their health. Since most dog foods are just water, they will pass right through dogs as urine. Leaving the dog with few nutrients (Goldstein 45). Instead of dog food, holistic studies show that “people food” may be more beneficial in an animals health. These principles may seem strange to those accustomed to medical treatments, but who is to say which method is correct? The veterinary world that most have come to know in today’s society is that of which Dr.
Mark Plott is a part of. Plott is a registered and fully licensed veterinarian at Foster’s Animal Hospital. Dr. Plott was asked a few questions regarding the more common form of animal health care. Along with other aspiring veterinarians, Plott was put through eight years of school at North Carolina State University, granting him a doctorate degree (Plott). After school, he had to complete a one-year internship to make sure he had all of the basics memorized. Dr. Plott believes in vaccines and other methods that holistic studies consider to be absurd (Plott).
In the offices that most pet owners are familiar with, some steps should be taken to insure the health of an animal. Annual physical exams are a must, running tests, and certain vaccines (Reeves). Depending on how natural one wants the health care experience, will determine what type of care one will sought after. Veterinary medicine is a difficult career to pursue, whether it is the basic studies, or one’s own ideas based upon what is known.
To find out which is more suitable, one must research the history to be knowledgable, the requirements to be prepared, and the significance of veterinary medicine in today’s society to be up with the new health care trends. West 6 Works Cited Goldstein, M. (1999).
The Nature of Animal Healing. The Random House Publishing Group. Plott, Mark. Personal Interview. 06 Mar. 2012. West 7 Reeves, D. L. (2005). Career Ideas for Teens in Health Science. New York, NY: An imprint of Infobase Publishing. “Significant Points. ” U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U. S. Web. 28 Feb. 2012. <http://www. bls. gov/oco/ocos076. htm>. Swope, R. E. (2001). Veterinary Medicine Careers. Lincolnwood, Il: The McGraw-Hill Companies.